Bill Submittals End Friday

Date Published: 
Guyana Times
Rajiv Bisnauth

Public submissions for Cricket Administration Bill 2012 are due to come to halt on Friday and it is unclear when the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) will make its input to the process.

The bill was tabled by Sport Minister Dr Frank Anthony last December in a bid to end the impasse between the government of Guyana and its Interim Management Committee (IMC) and the embattled Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) over the state of cricket in Guyana.

WICB Corporate Communications Officer, Imran Khan told Guyana Times Sport via BlackBerry Messenger that the WICB could make its submissions on or before the deadline.

“The WICB has not yet made its submission. We know that the deadline is Friday, so we will see about it,” Khan was quoted when contacted for a comment yesterday via BlackBerry Messenger.

The WICB had previously rejected the legislation when it was first proposed to the directors. The WICB had indicated that the bill being submitted for consideration ran counter to aspects of the WICB operations.

The regional governing body had said that there seems to be too much ministerial intrusion into the affairs of the GCB and it was noting the supposed intention of Sport Minister Dr Frank Anthony to replace the GCB that was in place.

The WICB had asserted that it would never infringe the right of the minister to enquire into any board to see if any criminal acts were committed and if there was mismanagement but disclosed that it is uncomfortable with the seeming reporting relationship that may be mandated by the legislation.

The bill seeks to establish the GCB, the DCB, the ECB and the BCB as corporate bodies. It also seeks to replace the existing GCB constitution with a new constitution, with the aim of bringing the GCB in line with the cricket boards of sister Caricom countries.

The bill is divided into five parts with one schedule giving respective boards the powers to effectively manage the affairs of local cricket. Currently the bill is the subject of much discussion by critical stakeholders within the cricketing fraternity, and is currently receiving the attention of a Special Select Committee of the National Assembly of Guyana.

The special select committee comprises four members of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), one member from the Alliance for Change (AFC) and four members of the ruling People’s Progressive Party.

The members of the Select Committee are Christopher Jones, Joseph Harmon, Basil Williams, and Dr. Rupert Roopnarine of APNU, Kemraj Ramjattan of the AFC while Odinga Lumumba, Attorney General Anil Nandlall, Sport Minister Dr. Frank Anthony and Neil Kumar represent the government.

Meanwhile, Clerk of the special select committee, Sherry Warren, when reached for a comment via telephone on Tuesday acknowledged that the committee was in receipt of a number of submissions from cricket stakeholders. She, however did not disclose the persons and stakeholders involved in making those submissions.

The select committee began deliberations on the bill some five weeks ago. This publication understands that during those five weeks several amendments were made to the bill based on the submissions received.

Guyana Times Sport also learnt that the bill could be re-tabled in parliament sometime next month, once it is dealt with in its entirety by the Select Committee.

New Elections

Meanwhile, Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall recently told this publication that if the bill is passed there will be new GCB elections.

Three Sundays ago the GCB held its annual general meeting and elections of office bearers, although the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) did not turn up for the day’s proceedings and the legality of the Demerara Cricket Board (DCB) remains in question.

Eighteen candidates, nine from the Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB) and nine from the Raj Singh faction of the DCB, voted at the elections. The BCB did not participate in the elections after they claimed that the board had not received any official notification from the GCB with respect to the AGM and elections.

Dru Bahadur was elected president and Anand Sanasie returned unopposed as secretary. Two WICB officials Conde Riley and Imran Khan, attended the AGM as observers with Riley later pronouncing on the AGM.

Seek legal advice

President of the embattled cricket board, Dru Bahadur in an invited comment recently said that the GCB will seek legal advice on the way forward once the bill is passed.

We will have no choice but to seek legal advice once the bill is approve in parliament. The GCB is not bigger than the parliament but at the moment we will continue our duties and responsibilities as an elected board,” the new GCB president had said.